To celebrate the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50th year of Bangladesh, Lighting the Fire of Freedom: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman exhibition from Dhaka Art Summit 2020, is travelling to Art Gallery of Mississauga, Canada. The first iteration of the exhibition in 2020, was produced by Samdani Art Foundation and the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) in partnership with ICT Division and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, during the Mujib 100 year. The exhibition was also visited by our Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with her family.
At the invitation of AGM in Toronto, Samdani Art Foundation and CRI is bringing the exhibition Lighting the Fire of Freedom: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the heart of Canada in Toronto for the Canadian audience to learn about the Nation’s founder.
“As we celebrate the 50th years of Bangladesh in 2021, it is imperative that we pause and look back at the ideas and values that drove our independence movement. Bangabandhu strove to create a Shonar Bangla where every woman, man and child could live with dignity, free from poverty and oppression, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, or personal beliefs.” – Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Trustee of CRI.
“We are excited to be partnering with AGM and presenting the legacy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Canadian audience. 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the birth of our beautiful country, and as we look for hope to endure the challenges that lie ahead, I cannot think of a better person to turn to than our Father of the Nation.” -Nadia Samdani, President, Samdani Art Foundation
Curated by Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury, Lighting the Fire of Freedom: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman offers intimate and little-known details about the life and work of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975), the founding father of Bangladesh. To celebrate his birth centenary, the exhibition takes visitors on a chronological journey of his life, mapping out the ways in which he addressed the challenges facing the land now known as Bangladesh. Many of the materials are on display for the first time, including personal photographs, newspapers, historic video footage, interactive audiovisual content, and modern and contemporary artworks. Paintings from celebrated artist Zainul Abedin, including from his iconic famine series depicting hunger and displacement in wartime colonial Bengal (1943–1944), will be shown alongside paintings from Bangladeshi artists such as Shahabuddin Ahmed, Kabir Ahmed Masum Chisty and Saiyad Saif Ali, that respond to Bangabandhu’s ideas and legacy. Through this rich variety of archival and contemporary materials, Lighting the Fire of Freedom assembles the historic moments of the formation of the nation, from Bengal Presidency under British rule to East Pakistan and finally to Bangladesh, where his legacy remains alive to this day.
Parallel to the exhibition, Lighting the Fire of Freedom, AGM is also hosting another exhibition ‘Art of a Young Nation: Bangladesh’ Co-curated by Ali Adil Khan and Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury, Assistant Curator, Samdani Art Foundation, celebrates 50 years of Bangladesh, showcasing its vibrant arts and distinct culture from the past, the present and the future. The 38 artists in this exhibition include Zainul Abedin, S.M. Sultan, Rashid Choudhury, Murtaja Baseer, Debdas Chakraborty, Mohammad Kibria, Monirul Islam, Qayyum Chowdhury, Hashem Khan, Shahabuddin Ahmed, Kalidas Karmakar, Biren Shome, Shahid Kabir, Kamal Kabir, Abdus Shakoor Shah, Farida Zaman, Rokeya Sultana, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Dilara Begum Jolly, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Hamiduzzaman Khan, Mahbubur Rahman, Mohammad Eunus, Mahmudul Haque, Mohammad Iqbal, Anisuzzaman Anis, Biswajit Goswami, Kuhu Plamondon, Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Vinita Karim, Bipasha Hayat, Maksuda Iqbal Nipa and from the diaspora, Alamgir Huque (Saskatoon), Syed Iqbal, Tajuddin Ahmed, Iftikaruddin Ahmed (Toronto), Mohammad Fakruzzaman (London, UK) and Md. Tokon (New York). Samdani Art Foundation has also partnered with this exhibition.
The exhibitions will open from 15th November 2021 and run till 12th January 2022 at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. The inauguration ceremony will take place on 18th November, 2021. This is so far the largest celebration of the 50th year of Bangladesh and Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman outside of Bangladesh in the sector of art.
The Art Gallery of Mississauga is a public, not-for-profit, art gallery that provides platforms for exhibitions, collections and experimentation in contemporary culture with a recent focus on artists and cultural producers from Indigenous, newcomer and youth communities.